Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup Fever! Catch it! (WARNING: may cause spousal irritation)

Match Day 5- Band meeting! Brett... present, Jermaine... present, Kaka...present.

Match Day 4 reaction.

Japan 1-0 Cameroon
Did I mention I love being wrong? Cameroon looked listless everywhere except their left wing. It seemed like Samuel Eto'o lined up as more of midfielder distributing the ball rather than as the playmaker at the top. Japan got the job done. It wasn't flashy, but it was a solid performance and now they have 3 points and only their second victory in World Cup play. I drove a Honda, Honda scored the goal. I should have seen it coming.

Netherlands 2-0 Denmark
Pretty much played out like I thought it would, but I thought Denmark would at least get one goal for their efforts. The Dutch weren't exactly shining like gleaming silver, but they controlled the possession game as they always do came out with the win and a bonus goal.

Paraguay 1-1 Italy
Italy were back on their heels until they scored in the second half. They looked really desperate until De Rossi knocked in the draw. I thought Paraguay would keep it interesting and they sure as shootin' did.

Match Day 5 previews!

New Zealand v. Slovakia
Woo Hoo! Here come the All-Whites! Uhm, that may not be the best nickname for a team in South Africa...just sayin'. To be fair, it is simply just the reverse of New Zealand's rugby team name, the All-Blacks, but still rather unfortunate in this tournament. I really know so little about either o these teams that handicapping the games seems like a bot of a stretch.

Players to watch:

New Zealand- Shane Smeltz. Top scorer in the Australian league looks o continue that form on the International stage. But can he climb and Oliphant and drive back the Uruk Hai hordes of Sauron?

Slovakia- Vladimir Weiss and Martin Skrtel. Don't be alarmed, both coach and starting left-winger are named Vladimir Weiss. I am referring to the player only. Weiss should drive the majority of the offense. Skrtel, who plays for Liverpool will menace the New Zealand attack on Defense, and menace the New Zealand keeper on corner-kicks. Generally he will provide the daily recommended amount of menace.

Did you know? Many of the New Zealand players came into the pros after playing at American universities! Yay trivia!

Best guess: Slovakia 2-1 New Zealand

Ivory Coast v. Portugal
This should be a hotly contested game. Didier Drogba is still a question mark as he recovers from the broken arm he received in a warm-up. The question for Portugal is whether they are really a one-man team, or a solid World Cup challenger.

Players to watch:

Ivory Coast- Didier Drogba. This is more of a "can the one-legged man win the ass kicking contest" type of player to watch. Ivory Coast is loaded with players who show for European top flight clubs. Drogba isn't their only weapon, but he is certainly their best and most important. If the name sounds familiar, it is because he made the cover of Time magazine's 100 most influential people issue along with former president Clinton and Lady Gaga

Portugal- Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the whole show. The Real Madrid forward steps in as the most compelling argument for Portugal to do anything in this tournament. He is consistently ranked along with Argentina's Lionel Messi, as the best player in the world. If I am being honest, he probably tops my list. My Manchester United bias aside, Ronaldo is easily one of the most dangerous players with speed, skill, and accuracy to make the most accomplished defenders look like green amateurs. A villain in the 2006 World Cup for his part in having then teammate Wayne Rooney sent off, Ronaldo will look to carry only the title of hero into the second round.

Best guess: Ivory Coast 2- 1 Portugal.
Ivory Coast ride a wave of emotion over a one note (but a good note) Portugal.

Brazil v. North Korea

If North Korean propaganda is anything to be believed, North Korea really didn't need to show up. The win every time they play so what is the point of humiliating all the Western imperialists? They felt it important to show the World their true dominance so that we might be enlightened. Just kidding, although their top striker has promised a goal a game. That is if Brazil decides to let them have the ball in between miraculous displays of ball handling and impossible goal scoring. Seriously, this is Brazil we are talking about. North Korea are lucky to even be playing on the same field. I'm normally far more respectful of any team that makes the World Cup, but I'm not giving them an ice cubes chance of surviving a volcanic eruption.

North Korea caused a huge stir in 1966 by defeating Italy. Some people are touting them as the unknown quantity of this tournament, but against Brazil, they might as well be carrying guns, because that is the only way I see them stopping the 5 time World Champions. I will say this, if their South Korean counterparts are any indication, we should see a very speedy and technically sound team. However, I expect half the team to defect by the end of the Cup.

Players to watch:

Brazil- Have you got an hour or two? Seriously though, Brazil always boasts the finest collection of players of any team almost every single World Cup. If we have to pick one, then I choose Kaka. The Real Madrid attacking midfielder is one of the best players in the World and will be pinging pinpoint accurate passes and shots all over the field.

North Korea- Jong Tae So. The "Asian Wayne Rooney" as touted by the press has promised a goal per game. Jong actually has a a fairly complicated life story that starts with him born in Japan to South Korean parents only to changing his nationality after being indoctrinated in North korean school.

Best guess: Brazil 3-0 North Korea. Now, what is the over/under on camera shots of scantily clad Brazilian women?

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